Monday, 22 January 2018

MPOV: The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared

My rating: 5/5
Goodreads rating: 3.82/5

First published: September 9th, 2009
Author: Jonas Jonasson
Genre: Humour, contemporary, fiction

This book revolves around Allan Karlsson's life from when he was young until he's a centenarian. It flips back and forth from the moment he stepped out of the window of the old folk's home he's been staying. He never liked the limelight nor Director Alice hence the desire to leave the home as soon as possible. After walking the distance to the nearest bus station, Allan has unintentionally gotten involved in a mob-chasing adventure after he had taken along a money-loaded suitcase on board a bus leaving town. From there on, his journey became an exciting one where he forged friendships while on the run with Julius, Benny, Gunilla, Bosse and Gaddan.

Along the way, there are flashbacks to his earlier life when he's a bomb expert, meeting so many influential politicians like Harry Truman, General Franco, Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, Soong Mei-ling, Kim Jong-il, Winston Churchill and his good friend, Herbert Einstein.

Initially, I did find the book a little slow but then the story line was engaging, slowly but surely kept me on my toes, laughing my guts out! A hilarious book bringing me around the world and through many years of history via Allan's journey as a atom bomb expert, nothing short of an adventurous explosion. I did not expect the comically slyness of this old man and his unbecoming slates of good luck which made the book 'unputdownable'!

The fact that it was translated did not bother me as it was seamless! I definitely loved this exceptionally awesome book! Indirectly, it did show that life's a full circle and karma does get in the way. With the many humorous, adventurous plots, there are some quotes which I particularly liked, reflecting on Allan's life lessons:
Things are what they are, and whatever will be will be.
Revenge is like politics, one thing always leads to another until bad has become worse, and worse has become worst.
I can so relate to this:
Allan hadn't listened very carefully to the global political aspects of the plan, because when people started talking politics then he stopped listening. It sort of happened by itself.
Not forgetting, Bali's famous food was mentioned:
Also, Allan's sensitive side was explored minimally towards the end:
Some new words:
Heifer - (in farming) a cow that has not borne a calf, or has borne only one calf
Apropos - with reference to; concerning
Pedagogical - relating to teaching
Reveille - a signal sounded especially on a bugle or drum to wake personnel in the armed forces
Teetotaller - a person who never drinks alcohol
Disarmament - the reduction or withdrawal of military forces and weapons
Exegesis - critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially of scripture
Irascible - having or showing a tendency to be easily angered

Friday, 19 January 2018

CSM: Adoption drive this Sunday

The below taken from:
https://www.facebook.com/MalaysianDogsDeserveBetter/

Dear all,

We had initially decided not to do a calendar this year and then it dawned upon us that it is going to be the YEAR OF THE DOG! We then quickly decided to honour the noble dog by coming out with a calendar to usher in the New Year. Since 2018 is the year of the Earth Dog which is represented by the brown dog - our calendar features the illustrated potrait of a selection of our brown dogs. Retailed at RM30 each, it will be on sale at the ground floor main entrance of The School, Jaya 1, Jalan 13/6, Petaling Jaya this Sunday, Jan 21st from 11.00am to 6.00pm. (Our adoption drive will also be held at the same location.) Those who want to buy the calendars through mail order can do so by whatsapping your bank transfer slips, postal address and name to 012-2846039. Please add an additional RM1.50 each for each calendar for postal orders.


Thanking you.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Day 1: Phuket

We were supposed to go to Bali for our first ever family trip overseas! Unfortunately, Mount Agung begged to differ and didn't allow us entry sigh! Thankfully, after all the refunds and whatnots, we were able to re-book to Phuket instead. So here we are... our first ever family trip to Phuket and here's day 1... waiting to board our early flight!



Upon reaching Patong, we decided to head to Banzaan Market after checking in to the hotel for lunch as we were so famished! Loving all those fresh, yummy seafood at such an affordable price albeit the haggling!

After having our tummy filled to the brim, we walked around Junceylon Mall.

By evening, Angels were excited to head back to the hotel to go for a dip in the swanky hotel's pool!
After a refreshing dip and freshening up, we headed to the night market outside Banzaan Market for dinner! There were many local varieties including Khao Kha Moo, chicken rice, seafood, etc... so we tapao and ate by the veranda like how the other locals did LOL! Unfortunately, no photos as we were struggling to eat and hold our styrofoam boxes with care... except for dessert, this knocked up mixed ice-cream!
Once we were done checking everything here, we headed back to our hotel as we were just too tired then. This time around, we stayed at Forty Winks Hotel. A quaint, steam-punk design hotel with friendly staffs. FYI, we booked our rooms via Agoda. When we arrived, we were upgraded for free as apparently the rooms we wanted were fully booked! We were so grateful for this! Though small, they also have a 'working' swimming pool which was a huge plus point! I was so in awe with the unique facade and design... especially our room as you can view the photos below! Another plus point, it's just a 10 mins walk to Jungceylon and 15 mins to Bangla Street! So convenient, no hassle to roam around the busy town by foot! I may be singing praises here of the hotel but rest assured, it wasn't because of the free upgrade. The hotel itself was truly great overall and I liked it a lot!



Next: day 2 in Patong

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

MPOV: The Foreigner

My rating: 3/5
IMDb rating: 7.1/10

Initial release: September 30, 2017
Director: Martin Campbell
Casts: Jackie Chan, Pierce Brosnan, Katie Leung, Orla Brady, Charlie Murphy
Category: A 2017 action thriller film based on the 1992 novel, The Chinaman by Stephen Leather

Ngoc Minh Quan, a Chinese Nuang chef, runs a Chinese restaurant in London. When his teenage daughter Fan is killed in a clothing store bombing claimed by a group calling themselves the "Authentic IRA", a distraught Quan seeks revenge. He first attempts to bribe Scotland Yard officer Richard Bromley for the names of the bombers, but Bromley refuses to accept the bribe nor reveal any information. Quan next focuses on the Northern Ireland deputy First Minister Liam Hennessy, who speaks publicly about his status as a former IRA leader while condemning the bombing. Keyi Lam, Quan's co-worker and personal friend, attempts to console and convince him to move on, but he refuses to be swayed and eventually leaves for Belfast to meet Hennessy. Hennessy claims to have no knowledge of the bombing or its perpetrators, but Quan does not believe him. His queries escalate until he becomes fixated on Hennessy, setting off a homemade bomb in his office and threatening more unless he gets the bombers' names.

The truth is that Hennessy, while having ordered the bombings to come with warnings as part of a political ploy to solidify the radical factions, does not actually know who the bombers are, as they are rogue members of the IRA. He is in fact outraged that no warnings were given and civilians were killed. Hennessy tries to identify the bombers by changing the code words they use after any bombings are carried out, but the rogue members catch on and outwit him. Meanwhile, he sends numerous mercenaries and personal enforcers after Quan, who manages to escape or defeat all of them. He also observes Hennessy meeting with his mistress, Maggie, and takes a picture of them kissing. Quan then brings the fight to Hennessy, hiding in the woods outside his Belfast farmhouse and attacking it with more homemade bombs. As Hennessy's men attempt to track him in the woods, Quan uses traps to disable a group of three and attempts to interrogate one of them, but he is shot in the shoulder by a fourth mercenary and flees. Hennessy decides to send for his nephew Sean Morrison, who was part of the Royal Irish Regiment with Bromley, after Quan in hopes that his tracking skills can be used to stop him for good.

As Quan heats up a knife to cauterize the gunshot wound, he faints and has flashbacks of his escape from Vietnam to Singapore where he and his family are attacked by Thai pirates. He and his wife look on hopelessly as his two daughters are taken away, to be raped and murdered by the pirates. As he tried to fight off the pirates, he and his wife were shot and both fell overboard. His wife later died giving birth to their daughter, Fan. Hennessy receives files from the British government on Quan's true background: a former Vietnam War special operations forces soldier who was trained by the US army.

The above taken from Wikipedia.

Jackie Chan definitely looks older befitting the role but the fighting scenes are much slower and not as exciting anymore. Thankfully, though the storyline is predictable, the plots were quite engaging with Pierce Brosnan's commanding character and Jackie Chan's persisting character. It's kinda slow at times but overall, an enthralling and entertaining movie to watch.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Last day & post: Hong Kong - a walk around town and Mak's Noodle

Our last day in Hong Kong and time was ticking fast...

After packing and freshening up at the hotel, we headed out again, taking the MRT this time. To be honest, I totally cannot recall which station we disembarked so hopefully through the photos below, the landmarks might be helpful to those who wanted to know.





Long queue at an Apple shop!
The best part, people selling mobile phones by the road side outside the Apple shop! Unbelievable!


Heavy traffic jam!

Finally reaching our lunch destination!
This is really good! Mak's famous prawn wantan noodle!
Loved the quaint, antique feel of this small restaurant! Definitely worth all the trouble coming over here for lunch! A simple yet tasty meal with fresh prawn wantan and nice tangible noodle. Darn! My mouth is watering, thinking of it again!


Even the waiter was friendly and joined in to wefie!
At last, after lunch, we headed back to the hotel to check out and take a cab straight to the airport. I did feel sad that our holiday has come to an end so soon, sob!

Thank you so much sis for this memorable trip! My first to Macau and Hong Kong plus it was just the three of us, mother and daughters! Albeit the tiresome rush, I did have a wonderful and enjoyable holiday!

Au revoir, Macau and Hong Kong! Until we meet again next time!

Monday, 15 January 2018

Last day: Hong Kong - Mido Cafe

Our last day in quaint Hong Kong. Woke up to a sombre mood, headed out to a nearby supermarket to get some souvenirs and then dropped by this old school, retro cafe for breakfast. Mido Cafe is on Temple Street and it definitely evoked the nostalgic feel, even the buildings within the vicinity. You can see it from our photos below...










Anyway, we did order the famous 'bolo bun' but it didn't panned out as expected. In fact, the french toast was much better and the iced milk tea was as good. FYI, it's been good and sunny weather throughout our journey so it was really hot and sweaty! Iced milk tea saved our day!

After breakfast, we returned to the hotel to pack and cool down before heading out to town (can't recall where) for some more souvenirs and lunch!

Next and last post: yummy Mak's Noodle!

Friday, 12 January 2018

MPOV: Lesung Batu Cafe

My rating: 4/5
Type: Halal
Location: 7 Jalan Putra Mahkota 7/8D, Putra Heights
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lesungbatucafe/

Fairly hidden, we chance upon this cafe while chasing Pokemons LOL! Since it's dinner time, we went ahead and try it. I definitely liked the ambience, so cosy yet spacious with good ventilation and cooling. Even the designs are authentic and retro!

Total bill RM28
Tom yam seafood, padprik seafood, telur dadar and kailan ikan masin with 2.5 plates of rice and 2 glasses of teh ais. RM28 well spent for such yummylicious, taste worthy dinner! Finally, we have found the right cooking style of padprik for our taste bud! Everything tasted just right and not overly expensive!



Apparently they do serve Indonesian food so will try it the next round! Well, the menu did have varieties of food but we were just too famish and decided on our usual Thai dishes LOL! Overall, I did like everything here!

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